125 Best Christmas Poems

These are 125 best poems about Christmas categorized.

  • Inspirational Christmas poems
  • Christmas poems about Jesus
  • Christmas poems for kids
  • Christmas poems about hope
  • Religious Christmas poems
  • Inspirational short Christmas poems

If you’re looking for the best collection of inspiring Christmas poems, then you’ve come to the right place.

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Table of Contents

125 Best Christmas Poems

My Favorite Christmas Poem

Cheerful little girl lies on the floor in front of Christmas tree with bright lights.

Christmas Greeting

A word of Godspeed and good cheer
To all on earth, or far or near,
Or friend or foe, or thine or mine –
In echo of the voice divine,
Heard when the star bloomed forth and lit
The world’s face, with God’s smile on it.

James Whitcomb Riley

Inspirational Christmas Poems

Golden Christmas bells and balls on music sheets.

Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Christmas Wreath

Oh! Christmas wreath upon the wall,
Within thine ivied space
I see the years beyond recall,
Amid thy leaves I trace
The shadows of a happy past,
When all the world was bright,
And love its magic splendour cast
O’er morn and noon and night.

Oh! Christmas wreath upon the wall,
’Neath memory’s tender spell
A wondrous charm doth o’er thee fall,
And round thy beauty dwell.
Thine ivy hath the satiny sheen
Of tresses I’ve caressed,
Thy holly’s crimson gleam I’ve seen
On lips I oft have pressed.

Oh! Christmas wreath upon the wall,
A mist steals o’er my sight.
Dear hallow’d wreath, these tears are all
The pledge I now can plight
To those loved ones whose spirit eyes
Shine down the flight of time;
Around God’s throne their voices rise
To swell the Christmas Chime!

Anna de Brémont

Christmas Hymn

Sing, Christmas bells!
Say to the earth this is the morn
Whereon our Savior-King is born;
Sing to all men,–the bond, the free,
The rich, the poor, the high, the low,
The little child that sports in glee,
The aged folk that tottering go,–
Proclaim the morn
That Christ is born,
That saveth them and saveth me!

Sing, angel host!
Sing of the star that God has placed
Above the manger in the East;
Sing of the glories of the night,
The virgin’s sweet humility,
The Babe with kingly robes bedight,–
Sing to all men where’er they be
This Christmas morn;
For Christ is born,
That saveth them and saveth me!

Sing, sons of earth!
O ransomed seed of Adam, sing!
God liveth, and we have a king!
The curse is gone, the bond are free–
By Bethlehem’s star that brightly beamed,
By all the heavenly signs that be,
We know that Israel is redeemed;
That on this morn
The Christ is born
That saveth you and saveth me!

Sing, O my heart!
Sing thou in rapture this dear morn
Whereon the blessed Prince is born!
And as thy songs shall be of love,
So let my deeds be charity
By the dear Lord that reigns above,
By Him that died upon the tree,
By this fair morn
Whereon is born
The Christ that saveth all and me!

Eugene Field
Pine trees on snowy mountain under the bright evening sky with white crescent moon.

Little Tree

little tree
little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid

look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold.
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
“Noel Noel”

E. E. Cummings

Christmas Greetings

Christmas comes but once a year.
Though by nature snappy,
Let us, as we may, appear
Merry, friend, and happy!
Buckle to; and when you meet your
Thunderstricken fellow-creature,
Show the broad, indulgent smile
Of th’ ingenuous crocodile!
Look as if you’d backed a winner!
Laugh, you miserable sinner!

Brother, Christmas Day has come.
Can’t you seek for inspi-
ration in the turkey, plum-
pudding, beef, and mince-pie?
Brave it out, and tho’ you sit on
Tenterhooks, remain a Briton;
You can only do your best;
Boxing Day’s a day of rest!
Throw aside your small digestive
Eccentricities. Be festive!

Christmas Day is on the wing.
Are you feeling wroth with
Any one for anything?
Beg his pardon forthwith!
Though the right is all on your side,
Say it isn’t; say ‘Of course I’d
No intention – very rude –
Shocking taste – but misconstrued’ –
Then (while I admit it’s horri-
fying) tell the man you’re sorry!

Christmas Day will soon have flown.
If, despite persuasion,
You resolve to be alone
On the glad occasion,
Better (do as I have done!)
Vanish with a scatter-gun;
If you have to see it through,
(Better do what I shall do!)
Dining quietly at the Club’ll
Save us from a world of trouble!

John Kendall (Dum-Dum)

The Waits

At the break of Christmas Day,
Through the frosty starlight ringing,
Faint and sweet and far away,
Comes the sound of children, singing,
Chanting, singing,
“Cease to mourn,
For Christ is born,
Peace and joy to all men bringing!”

Careless that the chill winds blow,
Growing stronger, sweeter, clearer,
Noiseless footfalls in the snow,
Bring the happy voices nearer;
Hear them singing,
“Winter’s drear,
But Christ is here,
Mirth and gladness with Him bringing.”

“Merry Christmas!” hear them say,
As the East is growing lighter;
“May the joy of Christmas Day
Make your whole year gladder, brighter!”
Join their singing,
“To each home
Our Christ has come,
All Love’s treasures with Him bringing!”

Margaret Deland
Christmas window sill and fireplace on snowy evening.

Bells Across the Snows

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
Is it really come again,
With its memories and greetings,
With its joy and with its pain?
There’s a minor in the carol,
And a shadow in the light,
And a spray of cypress twining
With the holly wreath to-night.
And the hush is never broken
By laughter light and low,
As we listen in the starlight
To the “bells across the snow.”

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
‘Tis not so very long
Since other voices blended
With the carol and the song!
If we could but hear them singing
As they are singing now,
If we could but see the radiance
Of the crown on each dear brow;
There would be no sigh to smother,
No hidden tear to flow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the “bells across the snow.”

O Christmas, merry Christmas!
This never more can be;
We cannot bring again the days
Of our unshadowed glee.
But Christmas, happy Christmas,
Sweet herald of good-will,
With holy songs of glory
Brings holy gladness still.
For peace and hope may brighten,
And patient love may glow,
As we listen in the starlight
To the “bells across the snow.”

Frances Ridley Havergal
(The Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)

Christmas Day, 1850

Beautiful stories wed with lovely days
Like words and music:–what shall be the tale
Of love and nobleness that might avail
To express in action what this sweetness says–

The sweetness of a day of airs and rays
That are strange glories on the winter pale?
Alas, O beauty, all my fancies fail!
I cannot tell a story in thy praise!

Thou hast, thou hast one–set, and sure to chime
With thee, as with the days of “winter wild;”
For Joy like Sorrow loves his blessed feet
Who shone from Heaven on Earth this Christmas-time
A Brother and a Saviour, Mary’s child!–
And so, fair day, thou hast thy story sweet.

George MacDonald

Christmas in the Heart

The snow lies deep upon the ground,
And winter’s brightness all around
Decks bravely out the forest sere,
With jewels of the brave old year.
The coasting crowd upon the hill
With some new spirit seems to thrill;
And all the temple bells achime.
Ring out the glee of Christmas time.

In happy homes the brown oak-bough
Vies with the red-gemmed holly now;
And here and there, like pearls, there show
The berries of the mistletoe.
A sprig upon the chandelier
Says to the maidens, “Come not here!”
Even the pauper of the earth
Some kindly gift has cheered to mirth!

Within his chamber, dim and cold,
There sits a grasping miser old.
He has no thought save one of gain,—
To grind and gather and grasp and drain.
A peal of bells, a merry shout
Assail his ear: he gazes out
Upon a world to him all gray,
And snarls, “Why, this is Christmas Day!”

No, man of ice,—for shame, for shame!
For “Christmas Day” is no mere name.
No, not for you this ringing cheer,
This festal season of the year.
And not for you the chime of bells
From holy temple rolls and swells.
In day and deed he has no part—
Who holds not Christmas in his heart!

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Bright city lights illuminating the snowy evening.

Christmas Eve

Oh, hush thee, little Dear-my-Soul,
The evening shades are falling,–
Hush thee, my dear, dost thou not hear
The voice of the Master calling?

Deep lies the snow upon the earth,
But all the sky is ringing
With joyous song, and all night long
The stars shall dance, with singing.

Oh, hush thee, little Dear-my-Soul,
And close thine eyes in dreaming,
And angels fair shall lead thee where
The singing stars are beaming.

A shepherd calls his little lambs,
And he longeth to caress them;
He bids them rest upon his breast,
That his tender love may bless them.

So, hush thee, little Dear-my-Soul,
Whilst evening shades are falling,
And above the song of the heavenly throng
Thou shalt hear the Master calling.

Eugene Field

Christmas

The birth day of the Christ child dawneth slow
Out of the opal east in rosy flame,
As if a luminous picture in its frame—
A great cathedral window, toward the sun
Lifted a form divine, which still below
Stretched hands of benediction;—while the air
Swayed the bright aureole of the flowing hair
Which lit our upturned faces;—even so
Look on us from the heavens, divinest One
And let us hear through the slow moving years.
Long centuries of wrongs, and crimes, and tears,—
The echo of the angel’s song again,
Peace and good will, good will and peace to men,
A little space make silence,—that our ears,
Filled with the din of toil and moil and pain
May catch the jubilant rapture of the skies,—
The glories of the choirs of paradise.

The hills still tremble when the thunders cease
Of the loud diapason,—and again
Through the rapt stillness steals the hymn of peace;
Melodious and sweet its far refrain
Dying in distance, as the shadows die
Of white wings vanished up the morning sky,
As farther still—and thinner—more remote—
A film of sound, the aerial voices float—
Peace and good will, good will and peace to men!

Kate Seymour Maclean
Chistmas stable in Bethlehem, a single bright star illuminating the dark sky.

An Ode on the Birth of Our Saviour

In numbers, and but these few,
I sing thy birth, O Jesu!
Thou pretty baby, born here
With sup’rabundant scorn here;
Who for thy princely port here,
Hadst for thy place
Of birth, a base
Out-stable for thy court here.

Instead of neat enclosures
Of interwoven osiers,
Instead of fragrant posies
Of daffodils and roses,
Thy cradle, kingly stranger,
As gospel tells,
Was nothing else
But here a homely manger.

But we with silks, not crewels,
With sundry precious jewels,
And lily work will dress thee,
And, as we dispossess thee
Of clouts, we’ll make a chamber,
Sweet babe, for thee
Of ivory,
And plaster’d round with amber.

Robert Herrick
(The Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)

Christmas

With all the little children, far and near,
God wot! to-day we’ll sing a song of cheer!
To rosy lips and eyes, that know not guile,
We one and all will give back smile for smile;
And for the sake of all the small and gay
We will be children also for to-day.

Holly we’ll hang, with mistletoe above!
God wot! to-day we’ll sing a song of love!
And we will trip on merry heel and toe
With all the fair who lightly come and go;
We will deny the years that lie behind
And say that age is only in the mind.

And to the needy, in whatever place,
God wot! to-day we’ll lend a hand of grace;
For where is he who hath not need himself,
Although he dine on silver or on delf?
And we who pass and nod this Christmas Day
May never meet again on life’s highway.

But when the lights are lit, and day has flown –
God wot! there will be some who sit alone;
Who sit and gaze into the embers’ glow,
And watch strange things that flitter to and fro –
The ghosts of dreams; and faces – long unseen;
Shadows of shadows – things that once have been.

Virna Sheard

Christmas Fancies

When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago.
And etched on vacant places,
Are half forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know –
When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow.

Uprising from the ocean of the present surging near,
We see, with strange emotion that is not free from fear,
That continent Elysian
Long vanished from our vision,
Youth’s lovely lost Atlantis, so mourned for and so dear,
Uprising from the ocean of the present surging near.

When gloomy gray Decembers are roused to Christmas mirth,
The dullest life remembers there once was joy on earth,
And draws from youth’s recesses
Some memory it possesses,
And, gazing through the lens of time, exaggerates its worth,
When gloomy gray December is roused to Christmas mirth.

When hanging up the holly or mistletoe, I wis
Each heart recalls some folly that lit the world with bliss.
Not all the seers and sages
With wisdom of the ages
Can give the mind such pleasure as memories of that kiss
When hanging up the holly or mistletoe, I wis.

For life was made for loving, and love alone repays,
As passing years are proving for all of Time’s sad ways.
There lies a sting in pleasure,
And fame gives shallow measure,
And wealth is but a phantom that mocks the restless days,
For life was made for loving, and only loving pays.

When Christmas bells are pelting the air with silver chimes,
And silences are melting to soft, melodious rhymes,
Let Love, the world’s beginning,
End fear and hate and sinning;
Let Love, the God Eternal, be worshipped in all climes
When Christmas bells are pelting the air with silver chimes.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox
White angel Christmas decoration on blue background with lights.

Christmas Morning

The angel host that sped last night,
Bearing the wondrous news afar,
Came in their ever-glorious flight
Unto a slumbering little star.

“Awake and sing, O star!” they cried.
“Awake and glorify the morn!
Herald the tidings far and wide–
He that shall lead His flock is born!”

The little star awoke and sung
As only stars in rapture may,
And presently where church bells hung
The joyous tidings found their way.

“Awake, O bells! ‘t is Christmas morn–
Awake and let thy music tell
To all mankind that now is born
What Shepherd loves His lambkins well!”

Then rang the bells as fled the night
O’er dreaming land and drowsing deep,
And coming with the morning light,
They called, my child, to you asleep.

Sweetly and tenderly they spoke,
And lingering round your little bed,
Their music pleaded till you woke,
And this is what their music said:

“Awake and sing! ’tis Christmas morn,
Whereon all earth salutes her King!
In Bethlehem is the Shepherd born.
Awake, O little lamb, and sing!”

So, dear my child, kneel at my feet,
And with those voices from above
Share thou this holy time with me,
The universal hymn of love.

Eugene Field

Christmas in Australia

O day, the crown and crest of all the year!
Thou comest not to us amid the snows,
But midmost of the reign of the red rose;
Our hearts have not yet lost the ancient cheer
That filled our fathers’ simple hearts when sere
The leaves fell, and the winds of Winter froze
The waters wan, and carols at the close
Of yester-eve sang the Child Christ anear.
And so we hail thee with a greeting high,
And drain to thee a draught of our own wine,
Forgetful not beneath this bluer sky
Of that old mother-land beyond the brine,
Whose gray skies gladden as thou drawest nigh,
O day of God’s good-will the seal and sign!

Victor James Daley

The Angel’s Song

Run, shepherds, run where Bethlehem blest appears.
We bring the best of news; be not dismayed:
A Saviour there is born more old than years,
Amidst heaven’s rolling height this earth who stayed.

In a poor cottage inned, a virgin maid,
A weakling did him bear, who all upbears;
There is he poorly swaddled, in manger laid,
To whom too narrow swaddlings are our spheres:
Run, shepherds, run, and solemnize his birth.

This is that night — no, day, grown great with bliss,
In which the power of Satan broken is:
In heaven be glory, peace unto the earth!
Thus singing, through the air the angels swarm,
And cope of stars re-echoèd the same.

Or say, if this new Birth of ours
Sleeps, laid within some ark of flowers,
Spangled with dew-light; thou canst clear
All doubts, and manifest the where.

Declare to us, bright star, if we shall seek
Him in the morning’s blushing cheek,
Or search the beds of spices through,
To find him out?

Star. — No, this ye need not do;
But only come and see Him rest,
A princely babe, in’s mother’s breast

William Drummond of Hawthornden
Praying little girl looking up the sky.

Christmas Wishes

Oh, happy Christmas, full of blessings, come!
Now bid our discords cease;
Here give the weary ease;
Let the long-parted meet again in peace;
Bring back the far-away;
Grant us a holiday;
And by the hopes of Christmas-tide we pray–
Let love restore the fallen to his Home;
Whilst up and down the snowy streets the Christmas minstrels sing;
And through the frost from countless towers the bells of
Christmas ring.

Ah, Christ! and yet a happier day shall come!
Then bid our discords cease;
There give the weary ease;
Let the long-parted meet again in peace;
Bring back the far-away;
Grant us a holiday;
And by the hopes of Christmas-tide we pray–
Let love restore the fallen to his Home;
Whilst up and down the golden streets the blessed angels sing,
And evermore the heavenly chimes in heavenly cadence ring.

Juliana Horatia Ewing

Christmas-Tide

Let working-clothes be laid aside,
And Industry in festal garb arrayed;
Let busy brain and hand from toil and trade
Relax at Christmas-tide.

As moments pass by dial, so
Let gifts go round the happy circle where
In giving and receiving each may share,
And mutual kindness show.

The meaning deep, like mystery,
That lies in holly-bough or mistletoe,
May thousands never fathom – yet who know
And hail the Christmas-tree.

So strong a hold on human thought
Has this glad day that seasons all the year
With the rich flavoring of hearty cheer,
It ne’er shall be forgot.

It is the milestone on life’s road
Where we may lay our burdens down, and take
A look at souvenirs, for love’s dear sake
So prettily bestowed.

Upon its shining tablet we may write –
If, like the good Samaritan, in deed –
A record that the angel band shall read
With impulse of delight.

And this is why on Christmas morn
The world should smile and wear its brightest glow:
Because some nineteen hundred years ago
A little child was born.

Hattie Howard

A Cradle Song

Sweet dreams, form a shade
O’er my lovely infant’s head!
Sweet dreams of pleasant streams
By happy, silent, moony beams!

Sweet Sleep, with soft down
Weave thy brows an infant crown!
Sweet Sleep, angel mild,
Hover o’er my happy child!

Sweet smiles, in the night
Hover over my delight!
Sweet smiles, mother’s smiles,
All the livelong night beguiles.

Sweet moans, dovelike sighs,
Chase not slumber from thy eyes!
Sweet moans, sweeter smiles,
All the dovelike moans beguiles.

Sleep, sleep, happy child!
All creation slept and smiled.
Sleep, sleep, happy sleep,
While o’er thee thy mother weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Holy image I can trace;
Sweet babe, once like thee
Thy Maker lay, and wept for me:

Wept for me, for thee, for all,
When He was an infant small.
Thou His image ever see,
Heavenly face that smiles on thee!

Smiles on thee, on me, on all,
Who became an infant small;
Infant smiles are His own smiles;
Heaven and earth to peace beguiles.

William Blake
City hall and basilica at christmas with decorations at night in Bruges, Belgium.

A Carol from Flanders

In Flanders on the Christmas morn
The trenched foemen lay,
the German and the Briton born,
And it was Christmas Day.

The red sun rose on fields accurst,
The gray fog fled away;
But neither cared to fire the first,
For it was Christmas Day!

They called from each to each across
The hideous disarray,
For terrible has been their loss:
“Oh, this is Christmas Day!”

Their rifles all they set aside,
One impulse to obey;
‘Twas just the men on either side,
Just men — and Christmas Day.

They dug the graves for all their dead
And over them did pray:
And Englishmen and Germans said:
“How strange a Christmas Day!”

Between the trenches then they met,
Shook hands, and e’en did play
At games on which their hearts were set
On happy Christmas Day.

Not all the emperors and kings,
Financiers and they
Who rule us could prevent these things —
For it was Christmas Day.

Oh ye who read this truthful rime
From Flanders, kneel and say:
God speed the time when every day
Shall be as Christmas Day.

Frederick Niven

A Song For A Christmas Tree

Cold and wintry is the sky,
Bitter winds go whistling by,
Orchard boughs are bare and dry,
Yet here stands a faithful tree.
Household fairies kind and dear,
With loving magic none need fear,
Bade it rise and blossom here,
Little friends, for you and me.

Come and gather as they fall,
Shining gifts for great and small;
Santa Claus remembers all
When he comes with goodies piled.
Corn and candy, apples red,
Sugar horses, gingerbread,
Babies who are never fed,
Are handing here for every child.

Shake the boughs and down they come,
Better fruit than peach or plum,
‘T is our little harvest home;
For though frosts the flowers kill,
Though birds depart and squirrels sleep,
Though snows may gather cold and deep,
Little folks their sunshine keep,
And mother-love makes summer still.

Gathered in a smiling ring,
Lightly dance and gayly sing,
Still at heart remembering
The sweet story all should know,
Of the little Child whose birth
Has made this day throughout the earth
A festival for childish mirth,
Since the first Christmas long ago.

Louisa May Alcott

A Lulling Song

Hush! my dear, lie still and slumber,
Holy Angels guard thy bed;
Heavenly blessings without number
Gently falling on thy head.

Sleep, my babe; thy food and raiment,
House and home, thy friends provide;
All without thy care or payment,
All thy wants are well supplied.

How much better thou’rt attended
Than the Son of God could be,
When from heaven He descended,
And became a child like thee!

Soft and easy is thy cradle:
Coarse and hard thy Saviour lay,
When His birthplace was a stable,
And His softest bed was hay.

See the kinder shepherds round Him,
Telling wonders from the sky!
Where they sought Him, there they found Him
With His Virgin-Mother by.

See the lovely Babe a-dressing;
Lovely Infant, how He smiled!
When He wept, the Mother’s blessing
Soothed and hush’d the holy Child.

Lo, He slumbers in His manger,
Where the horned oxen fed;
–Peace, my darling, here’s no danger;
Here’s no ox a-near thy bed!

May’st thou live to know and fear Him,
Trust and love Him all thy days;
Then go dwell forever near Him,
See His face and sing His praise!

I could give thee thousand kisses,
Hoping what I most desire;
Not a mother’s fondest wishes
Can to greater joys aspire.

Isaac WattsWilliam Makepeace Thackeray

Santa Claus

He comes in the night! He comes in the night!
He softly, silently comes;
While the little brown heads on the pillows so white
Are dreaming of bugles and drums.
He cuts through the snow like a ship through the foam,
While the white flakes around him whirl;
Who tells him I know not, but he findeth the home
Of each good little boy and girl.

His sleigh it is long, and deep, and wide;
It will carry a host of things,
While dozens of drums hang over the side,
With the sticks sticking under the strings:
And yet not the sound of a drum is heard,
Not a bugle blast is blown,
As he mounts to the chimney-top like a bird,
And drops to the hearth like a stone.

The little red stockings he silently fills,
Till the stockings will hold no more;
The bright little sleds for the great snow hills
Are quickly set down on the floor.
Then Santa Claus mounts to the roof like a bird,
And glides to his seat in the sleigh;
Not the sound of a bugle or drum is heard
As he noiselessly gallops away.

He rides to the East, and he rides to the West,
Of his goodies he touches not one;
He eateth the crumbs of the Christmas feast
When the dear little folks are done.
Old Santa Claus doeth all that he can;
This beautiful mission is his;
Then, children, be good to the little old man,
When you find who the little man is.

Anon
(The Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)

Christmas Poems About Jesus

Nativity of Jesus scene with comet at sunrise.

The Christmas Child

“Little one, who straight hast come
Down the heavenly stair,
Tell us all about your home,
And the father there.”

“He is such a one as I,
Like as like can be.
Do his will, and, by and by,
Home and him you’ll see.”

George MacDonald

The Birth of Christ

The time draws near the birth of Christ;
The moon is hid—the night is still;
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, on mead and moor,
Swell out and fail, as if a door
Were shut between me and the sound.

Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate and now decrease,
Peace and good-will, good-will and peace,
Peace and good-will to all mankind.

Rise, happy morn! rise, holy morn!
Draw forth the cheerful day from night;
O Father! touch the east, and light
The light that shone when hope was born!

Alfred Tennyson

The Child Jesus

A child He was, and had not learnt to speake,
That with His word the world before did make;
His mother’s armes Him bore, He was so weake,
That with one hand the vaults of heav’n could shake.
See how small roome my infant Lord doth take,
Whom all the world is not enough to hold;
Who of His yeares as of His age hath told?
Never such age so young, never a child so old.

Giles Fletcher
Silhouette Mother Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the manger.

A Christmas Carol

Before the paling of the stars,
Before the winter morn,
Before the earliest cock-crow,
Jesus Christ was born:
Born in a stable,
Cradled in a manger,
In the world His hands had made
Born a stranger.

Priest and King lay fast asleep
In Jerusalem,
Young and old lay fast asleep
In crowded Bethlehem:
Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
Kept a watch together,
Before the Christmas daybreak
In the winter weather.

Jesus on His Mother’s breast
In the stable cold,
Spotless Lamb of God was He,
Shepherd of the fold:
Let us kneel with Mary Maid,
With Joseph bent and hoary,
With Saint and Angel, ox and ass,
To hail the King of Glory.

Christina Rossetti

Christmas

Once in Royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for His bed.
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ that little child.

He came down to earth from Heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all.
And his shelter was a stable,
And his cradle was a stall.
With the poor and mean and lowly,
Lived on earth our Saviour Holy.

And our eyes at last shall see Him
Through His own redeeming love,
For that child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in Heaven above;
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor, lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in Heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high,
When, like stars, His children crowned
All in white, shall wait around.

Anon
(The Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)

A Nativity

The Babe was laid in the Manger
Between the gentle kine—
All safe from cold and danger—
“But it was not so with mine,
(With mine! With mine!)
“Is it well with the child, is it well?”
The waiting mother prayed.
“For I know not how he fell,
And I know not where he is laid.”

A Star stood forth in Heaven;
The Watchers ran to see
The Sign of the Promise given—
“But there comes no sign to me.
(To me! To me!)
“My child died in the dark.
Is it well with the child, is it well?
There was none to tend him or mark,
And I know not how he fell.”

The Cross was raised on high;
The Mother grieved beside—
“But the Mother saw Him die
And took Him when He died.
(He died! He died!)
“Seemly and undefiled
His burial-place was made—
Is it well, is it well with the child?
For I know not where he is laid.”

On the dawning of Easter Day
Comes Mary Magdalene;
But the Stone was rolled away,
And the Body was not within—
(Within! Within!)
“Ah, who will answer my word?”
The broken mother prayed.
“They have taken away my Lord,
And I know not where He is Laid.”

“The Star stands forth in Heaven.
The watchers watch in vain
For Sign of the Promise given
Of peace on Earth again—
(Again! Again!)
“But I know for Whom he fell”—
The steadfast mother smiled,
“Is it well with the child—is it well?
It is well—it is well with the child!”

Rudyard Kipling
Christmas in Moscow,festive decoration Red Square.

Christmas Eve

Christmas hath a darkness
Brighter than the blazing noon,
Christmas hath a chillness
Warmer than the heat of June,
Christmas hath a beauty
Lovelier than the world can show:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Earth, strike up your music,
Birds that sing and bells that ring;
Heaven hath answering music
For all Angels soon to sing:
Earth, put on your whitest
Bridal robe of spotless snow:
For Christmas bringeth Jesus,
Brought for us so low.

Christina Rossetti

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee to-night.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth!
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.
How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem!
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
Oh, come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!

Phillips Brooks
(The Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)

Christmas Morn

How sad, how glad,
The Christmas morn!
Some say, “To-day
Dear Christ was born,
And hope and mirth
Flood all the earth;
Who would be sad
This Christmas morn.”

How glad, how sad,
The Christmas morn!
“To-day,” some say
Dear Christ was born,
But oh! He died;
Was crucified!
Who could be glad
This Christmas morn!

Or glad, or sad,
This Christmas morn,
To some will come
A joy new-born.
The fleeting breath
To some bring death,—
How glad, how sad
This Christmas morn.

Libbie C. Baer
Christmas candle star and angel abstract background in night.

Christmas Day

A baby is a harmless thing
And wins our hearts with one accord,
And Flower of Babies was their King,
Jesus Christ our Lord:
Lily of lilies He
Upon His Mother’s knee;
Rose of roses, soon to be
Crowned with thorns on leafless tree.

A lamb is innocent and mild
And merry on the soft green sod;
And Jesus Christ, the Undefiled,
Is the Lamb of God:
Only spotless He
Upon His Mother’s knee;
White and ruddy, soon to be
Sacrificed for you and me.

Nay, lamb is not so sweet a word,
Nor lily half so pure a name;
Another name our hearts hath stirred,
Kindling them to flame:
“Jesus” certainly
Is music and melody:
Heart with heart in harmony
Carol we and worship we.

Christina Rossetti

Wartime Christmas

Led by a star, a golden star,
The youngest star, an olden star,
Here the kings and the shepherds are,
Akneeling on the ground.
What did they come to the inn to see?
God in the Highest, and this is He,
A baby asleep on His mother’s knee
And with her kisses crowned.

Now is the earth a dreary place,
A troubled place, a weary place.
Peace has hidden her lovely face
And turned in tears away.
Yet the sun, through the war-cloud, sees
Babies asleep on their mother’s knees.
While there are love and home—and these—
There shall be Christmas Day.

Joyce Kilmer

Christmas Carol

Ring out, ye bells!
All Nature swells
With gladness at the wondrous story,—
The world was lorn,
But Christ is born
To change our sadness into glory.

Sing, earthlings, sing!
To-night a King
Hath come from heaven’s high throne to bless us.
The outstretched hand
O’er all the land
Is raised in pity to caress us.

Come at his call;
Be joyful all;
Away with mourning and with sadness!
The heavenly choir
With holy fire
Their voices raise in songs of gladness.

The darkness breaks
And Dawn awakes,
Her cheeks suffused with youthful blushes.
The rocks and stones
In holy tones
Are singing sweeter than the thrushes.

Then why should we
In silence be,
When Nature lends her voice to praises;
When heaven and earth
Proclaim the truth
Of Him for whom that lone star blazes?

No, be not still,
But with a will
Strike all your harps and set them ringing;
On hill and heath
Let every breath
Throw all its power into singing!

Paul Laurence Dunbar
Mary wearing a gown and praying while her eyes are closed.

A Christmas Carol

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)

The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)

The Christ-child stood at Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at him.
And all the stars looked down.

Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Christmas

How did they keep his birthday then,
The little fair Christ, so long ago?
O, many there were to be housed and fed,
And there was no place in the inn, they said,
So into the manger the Christ must go,
To lodge with the cattle and not with men.

The ox and the ass they munched their hay
They munched and they slumbered, wondering not,
And out in the midnight cold and blue
The shepherds slept, and the sheep slept too,
Till the angels’ song and the bright star ray
Guided the wise men to the spot.

But only the wise men knelt and praised,
And only the shepherds came to see,
And the rest of the world cared not at all
For the little Christ in the oxen’s stall;
And we are angry and amazed
That such a dull, hard thing should be!

How do we keep his birthday now?
We ring the bells and we raise the strain,
We hang up garland, everywhere
And bid the tapers, twinkle fair,
And feast and frolic–and then we go
Back to the Mine old lives again.

Are we so better, then, than they
Who failed the new-born Christ to see?
To them a helpless babe,–to us
He shines a Saviour glorious,
Our Lord, our Friend, our All–yet we
Are half asleep this Christmas day.

Susan Coolidge (sarah Chauncey Woolsey)

Carol

O Child of Mary’s tender care!
O little Child so pure and fair!
Cradled within the manger hay
On that divine first Christmas day!
The hopes of every age and race
Are centered in Thy radiant face!

O Child whose glory fills the earth!
O little Child of lowly birth!
The shepherds, guided from afar,
Stood worshiping beneath the star,
And wise-men fell on bended knee
And homage offered unto Thee!

O Child of whom the angels sing!
O little Child, our Infant King!
What balm for every sorrow lies
Within those clear, illumined eyes!
O precious gift to mortals given
To win us heritage in Heaven!

Anne P.L. Field
Silhouette mother Mary and father Joseph looking Jesus born in birth manger.

The Nativity

She gave with joy her virgin breast;
She hid it not, she bared the breast
Which suckled that divinest babe!
Blessed, blessed, were the breasts
Which the Saviour infant kissed;
And blessed, blessed was the mother,
Who wrapped His limbs in swaddling clothes,
Singing placed Him on her lap,
Hung o’er Him with her looks of love,
And soothed Him with a lulling motion.
Blessed, for she sheltered Him
From the damp and chilling air;
Blessed, blessed for she lay
With such a babe in one blest bed,
Close as babes and mothers lie.
Blessed, blessed evermore,
With her virgin lips she kiss’d,
With her arms and to her breast
She embraced the babe divine,
Her babe divine the virgin mother!
There lives not on this ring of earth
A mortal that can sing her praise.
Mighty mother, virgin pure,
In the darkness and the night,
For us she bore the heavenly Lord.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Manger Throne

Like silver lamps in a distant shrine,
The stars are sparkling bright
The bells of the city of God ring out,
For the Son of Mary is born to-night.
The gloom is past and the morn at last
Is coming with orient light.
Never fell melodies half so sweet
As those which are filling the skies,
And never a palace shone half so fair
As the manger bed where our Saviour lies;
No night in the year is half so dear
As this which has ended our sighs.

Now a new Power has come on the earth,
A match for the armies of Hell:
A Child is born who shall conquer the foe,
And all the spirits of wickedness quell:
For Mary’s Son is the Mighty One
Whom the prophets of God fortell.

The stars of heaven still shine as at first
They gleamed on this wonderful night;
The bells of the city of God peal out
And the angels’ song still rings in the height;
And love still turns where the Godhead burns
Hid in flesh from fleshly sight.

Faith sees no longer the stable floor,
The pavement of sapphire is there
The clear light of heaven streams out to the world
And the angels of God are crowding the air,
And heaven and earth, through the spotless birth
Are at peace on this night so fair.

William Chatterton Dix

Bethlehem

O Bethlehem, where Christ was born
And angels watched him where he lay,
When cradled on that holy morn
That ushered in earth’s promised day!

O Bethlehem, it was thy star
Which guided o’er the deserts wild
Those who had journeyed from afar
To gaze upon the sinless child!

O Bethlehem, ’twas thine to see
God’s choir announce the Saviour’s birth,
And hear those waves of melody
Chant peace and good will to the earth!

O Bethlehem, ’twas thine to weep
With Rachel o’er the crimson woe
When cruel hands did vainly seek
To quench heaven’s radiance below!

O Bethlehem, we hear thy call
To joy and bliss, and would not cease
To praise him who has died for all
Who will accept his blood-bought peace!

Nancy Rebecca Campbell Glass
A very bright star signifying the birth of of Jesus Christ.

A Prayer at Bethlehem

O pulsing earth with heart athrill
With infinite creative will!
O watchful shepherds in whose eyes
Sweet hopes and promises arise!
O angel-host whose chanting choir
Proclaims fulfillment of desire!
O flaming star so purely white
Against the black Judean night!
O blessed Mary bending low
With sense of motherhood aglow!
O holy Babe with haloed head
Soft pillowed in a manger bed!
O Mystery divine and deep
Help us Thy prophecies to keep!

Anne P.L. Field
(The Project Gutenberg, eBook #18908)

New Prince, New Pomp

Behold a silly, tender Babe,
In freezing winter night,
In homely manger trembling lies;
Alas! a piteous sight.

The inns are full; no man will yield
This little pilgrim bed;
But forced he is with silly beasts
In crib to shroud his head.

Despise Him not for lying there;
First what He is inquire:
An Orient pearl is often found
In depth of dirty mire.

Weigh not His crib, His wooden dish,
Nor beasts that by Him feed;
Weigh not His mother’s poor attire,
Nor Joseph’s simple weed.

This stable is a Prince’s court,
The crib His chair of state;
The beasts are parcel of His pomp,
The wooden dish His plate.

The persons in that poor attire
His royal liveries wear;
The Prince Himself is come from heaven:
This pomp is praised there.

With joy approach, O Christian wight!
Do homage to thy King;
And highly praise this humble pomp,
Which He from heaven doth bring.

Robert Southwell

The Child Jesus

The world was dark with care and woe,
With brawl and pleasure wild,
When in the midst, His love to show,
God set a child.

The sages frowned, their beards they shook,
For pride their heart beguiled;
They said, each looking on his book,
‘We want no child.’

The merchants turned towards their scales,
Around their wealth lay piled;
Said they, ‘’Tis gold alone prevails;
We want no child.’

The soldiers rose in noisy sport,
Disdainfully they smiled,
And said, ‘Can babes the shield support?
We want no child.’

The merry sinners laughed or blushed,
Alas, and some reviled;
All cried, as to the dance they rushed,
‘We want no child.’

The old, the afflicted, and the poor,
With voices harsh or mild,
Said, ‘Hope to us returns no more;
We want no child.’

And men of grave and moral word,
With consciences defiled,
Said, ‘Let the old truth still be heard;
We want no child.’

Then said the Lord, ‘O world of care,
So blinded and beguiled,
Thou must become for thy repair
A holy child.

And unto thee a Son is born,
Thy second hope has smiled;
Thou mayest, though sin and trouble worn,
Be made a child.’

Thomas Toke Lynch
Illumined manger in Bethlehem where Christ the Savior was born.

And They Laid Him In A Manger

Happy crib, that wert, alone,
To my God, bed, cradle, throne!
Whilst thy glorious vileness I
View with divine fancy’s eye,
Sordid filth seems all the cost,
State, and splendour, crowns do boast.
See heaven’s sacred majesty
Humbled beneath poverty;
Swaddled up in homely rags,
On a bed of straw and flags!
He whose hands the heavens displayed,
And the world’s foundations laid,
From the world’s almost exiled,
Of all ornaments despoiled.
Perfumes bathe him not, new-born;
Persian mantles not adorn;
Nor do the rich roofs look bright
With the jasper’s orient light.
Where, O royal infant, be
The ensigns of thy majesty;
Thy Sire’s equalizing state;
And thy sceptre that rules fate?
Where’s thy angel-guarded throne,
Whence thy laws thou didst make known–
Laws which heaven, earth, hell obeyed?
These, ah! these aside he laid;
Would the emblem be–of pride
By humility outvied?

Sir Edward Sherburne

Christs Nativity

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the Birthday of thy King.
Awake! awake!
The sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and, all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake! awake! hark how th’ wood rings,
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A concert make!
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Fluttering in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn,
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Where so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.

Henry Vaughan

The Child Jesus In The Garden

Cold was the day, when in a garden bare,
Walked the Child Jesus, wrapt in holy thought;
His brow seemed clouded with a weight of care;
Calmness and rest from worldly things he sought.

Soon was his presence missed within his home;
His mother gently marked his every way;
Forth then she came to seek where he did roam.
Full of sweet words his trouble to allay.

Through chilling snow she toiled to reach his side,
Forcing her way mid branches brown and sere,
Hastening that she his sorrows might divide,
Share all his woe, or calm his gloomy fear.

Sweet was her face, as o’er his head she bent,
Longing to melt his look of saddest grief.
With lifted eyes, his ear to her he lent;
Her kindly solace brought his soul relief.

Then did he smile–a smile of love so deep,
Winter himself grew warm beneath its glow;
From drooping branches scented blossoms peep;
Up springs the grass; the sealed fountains flow.

Summer and spring did with each other vie,
Offering to Him the fragrance of their store;
Chanting sweet notes, the birds around him fly,
Wondering why earth had checkered so her floor.

Anonymous
(From Project Gutenberg etext #11014)

A Christmas Song

Oh, Lord, as You lay so soft and white
A Babe in a manger stall,
With the big star flashing across the night
Did You know and pity us all?
Did the wee hands, soft as a rosebud curled,
With the call of their mission ache
To be out and saving a sinful world
For Your merciful Father’s sake?

Did You hear the cries of the groping blind,
The woe of the leper’s prayer,
Surging sorrow of all mankind
As You lay by Your Mother there?
Above the shepherds low bending down
The long, long road did You see
That led from peaceful Bethlehem town
To the summit of Calvary?

The world, grown weary of wasting strife,
Had called on the Christ to rise,
For sin had poisoned the springs of life,
And only the dead were wise;
But, wrapped in a dream of scornful pride,
Too high were its eyes to see
A Child, foredoomed to be crucified,
On a peasant Mother’s knee.

But while the heavens with glad acclaim
Sang out the news of Your birth
A mystic whisper of comfort came
To the pitiful ones of earth,
And the thrill of a slowly turning tide
Was felt in that grey day-break
As if God the Father had sanctified
All sorrow for one Man’s sake.

Oh, child of the Promise, Lord of love,
Oh, Master of time and earth,
While the angels are singing their songs above
We bring our gifts to Your birth:
Just the blind man’s cry and the lame man’s pace
And the leper’s pitiful call –
On these over infinite fields of space
Look down, for Your know them all.

Teresa Coca Boylan Brayton

Star Of The East

Star of the East, that long ago
Brought wise men on their way
Where, angels singing to and fro,
The Child of Bethlehem lay–
Above that Syrian hill afar
Thou shinest out to-night, O Star!

Star of the East, the night were drear
But for the tender grace
That with thy glory comes to cheer
Earth’s loneliest, darkest place;
For by that charity we see
Where there is hope for all and me.

Star of the East! show us the way
In wisdom undefiled
To seek that manger out and lay
Our gifts before the child–
To bring our hearts and offer them
Unto our King in Bethlehem!

Eugene Field

Christmas Poems For Kids

Happy mom and child opening gifts on Christmas eve.

Christmas Day And Every Day

Star high,
Baby low:
‘Twixt the two
Wise men go;
Find the baby,
Grasp the star–
Heirs of all things
Near and far!

George MacDonald

The Lamb

Little Lamb, who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee,
Gave thee life, and bid thee feed
By the stream and o’er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing, woolly, bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice?
Little Lamb, who made thee?
Dost thou know who made thee?

Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee;
Little Lamb, I’ll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For He calls Himself a Lamb
He is meek, and He is mild,
He became a little child.
I a child, and thou a lamb,
We are called by His name.
Little Lamb, God bless thee!
Little Lamb, God bless thee!

William Blake
(Project Gutenberg, Etext #1934)

Christmas

“Little children, when rejoicing
In the merry Christmas morn,
‘Mid your sports remember ever
‘Tis the day that Christ was born.

“When on earth, the blessed Saviour
Said, ‘Let children come to me,’
And the little ones he folded
In his arms, how tenderly!”

“But the Saviour is in heaven,
And we cannot see him now;
We cannot receive his blessing,
In his presence cannot bow.”

“Listen. In the holy Bible,
Jesus Christ tells every child
That the way to gain his blessing
Is by being good and mild.”

“Here on earth you may not see him;
But when this short life is done,
You shall live with him forever
Where there is no setting sun.”

“So remember, Christmas morning,
That on earth the Saviour came;
And that still he guards and blesses
Every child who loves his name.”

H. P. Nichols
Christmas wooden doll with sweets.

A Christmas Doll

Smiling dolly with the eyes of blue,
Was it lovely where they fashioned you,
Were there laughing gnomes, and did the breeze
Toss the snow along the Christmas trees?
Tiny hands and chill, and thin rags torn,
Faces drawn with waking night and morn,
Eyes that strained until they could not see,
Little mother, where they fashioned me.

Gold-haired dolly in the silken dress,
Tell me where you found your loveliness,
Were they fairyfolk who clad you so,
Gold wands quivering and wings aglow?
Narrow walls and low, and tumbled bed,
One dim lamp to see to knot the thread,
This was all I saw till dark came down,
Little mother, where they sewed my gown.

Rosy dolly on my Christmas tree,
Tell the lovely things you saw to me,
Were there golden birds and silver dew
In the fairylands they brought you through?
Weary footsteps all and weary faces
Serving crowds within the crowded places,
This was all I saw the Christ-eve through,
Little mother, ere I came to you.

Smiling dolly in the Christmas-green,
What do all these cruel stories mean?
Are there children, then, who cannot say
Thanks to Christ for this his natal day?
Ay, there’s weariness and want and shame,
Pain and evil in the good Lord’s name,
Things the peasant Christ-child could not know
On his quiet birthday long ago!

Margaret Widdemer

The Christmas Fires

The Christmas fires brightly gleam
And dance among the holly boughs,
The Christmas pudding’s spicy steam
With fragrance fills the house,
While merry grows each friendly soul
Over the foaming wassail bowl.

Resplendent stands the glitt’ring tree,
Weighted with gifts for old and young,
The children’s faces shine with glee,
And joyous is each tongue,
While lads and lassies come and go
Under the festive mistletoe.

When suddenly the frosty air
Is filled with music, voices sweet,
Lo! see the Christmas waits are there
Snow-crowned and bare of feet,
Yet high and clear their voices ring,
And glad their Christmas carolling.

Anne P. L. Field
(Christmas, Robert Haven Schauffler, 1907)

Christmas Time Has Come Again

Christmas time has come again;
What a joy for girls and boys,
With its snow-balling and fun,
With its sleighing and its noise;
Santa Claus’ bag is full
Of the sweeties, lovliest things;
Dolls like babies, beautiful,
Ball and drums, and glittering rings.

Haste and get the little stockings,
Santa Claus you know don’t stay;
Always he flies up the chimney
Ere its light on Christmas day,
And at night sweet little eyes
Shut as tight as tight can be,
Santa Claus don’t like us looking
Leaves us nothing if we see.

Oh, the candies; Oh, the apples!
Peeping from the stocking top;
Nuts and raisins here in plenty,
Gorgeous looking lumps of rock,
Oh, the dolls with golden tresses,
And, the glorious big drum;
Let us fill the air with shouting,
Dear old Christmas time has come.

Every face is wreathed with gladness,
Oh, it is a sight to see
Such a set of lovely fairies
Dancing round the Christmas tree;
Santa Claus will leave some treasurer
For his darlings, every one;
Is not this a scene of pleasure
Since old Christmas time has come?

Anonymous
(J. F. Kinsey and John McPherson, eds.,
Echoes Of Glory For The Sunday School)
Beautiful room decorated with Christmas tree, gifts and fireplace with the glowing lights at night.

The Christmas Stocking

“I don’t believe that Santa Claus will come to you and me,”
Said little crippled Nell, “a’cause, we are so poor you see;
And then I don’t believe the ‘chimbley’s’ wide enough for him,
D’ye think that Santa Claus will come, when all the lights are dim.”
“Of course he comes to every one, dear, whether rich or poor;
Now go to bed dear Nell,” said Nan, “he’ll come to-night I’m sure.”

I don’t know if by chimney or if by stair he crept,
But sure enough he visited the room where Nelly slept.
He brought a golden orange, and a monkey red and blue,
That climbed a little wooden stick in a way I couldn’t do.
He hung them in Nell’s stocking, and Nan was right, be sure,
That Santa Claus loves every one however rich or poor.

Lizzie Lawson

The Christmas Tree

A merry, merry Christmas!
To crown the closing year;
Peace and good-will to mortals,
And words of holy cheer!

What though the dreary landscape
Be robed in drifting snow,
If on the social hearthstone
The Christmas fire may glow?

What though the wind at evening
Blow harsh o’er land and sea,
If eager hands and joyful
Light up the Christmas Tree?

Soft falls its pleasing lustre
Upon the group around, —
On merry laughing childhood,
And age with glory crowned.

With eyes of rapture beaming,
Each little guest receives
Affection’s token gleaming
From out the shining leaves.

The grand-dame greets her children,
And smiles their joy to see,
On Christmas eves of olden
So eager once was she.

With peace serene and beautiful
Her waning life shall shine,
And Christmas crowns the twelvemonths
With light and joy divine.

Anonymous
(From Christmas In Art And Song)

Mary’s Baby

Joseph, mild and noble, bent above the straw:
A pale girl, a frail girl, suffering he saw;
“O my Love, my Mary, my bride, I pity thee!”
“Nay, Dear,” said Mary, “all is well with me!”
“Baby, my baby, O my babe,” she sang.
Suddenly the golden night all with music rang.

Angels leading shepherds, shepherds leading sheep:
The silence of worship broke the mother’s sleep.
All the meek and lowly of all the world were there;
Smiling, she showed them that her Child was fair,
“Baby, my baby,” kissing Him she said.
Suddenly a flaming star through the heavens sped.

Three old men and weary knelt them side by side,
The world’s wealth forswearing, majesty and pride;
Worldly might and wisdom before the Babe bent low:
Weeping, maid Mary said, “I love Him so!”
“Baby, my baby,” and the Baby slept.
Suddenly on Calvary all the olives wept.

Shaemas O’Sheel
(Project Gutenberg Etext #2619)
Happy family celebrating Christmas.

Johnnie’s Christmas

Papa and mama, and baby and Dot,
Willie and me—the whole of the lot
Of us all went over in Bimberlie’s sleigh,
To grandmama’s house on Christmas day.

Covered with robes on the soft cushioned seat,
With heads well wrapped up and hot bricks to our feet,
And two prancing horses, tho’ ten miles away,
The ride was quite short, on that bright Christmas day.

When all were tucked in and the driver said “Go!”
The horses just flew o’er the white, shining snow;
The town it slipped by us and meadow and tree,
And farm house till grandmama’s house we did see.

Grandmama was watching for us, there’s no doubt;
She soon come to meet us, and helped us all out;
And kissin’ and huggin’ said how we boys growed,
And big as our papa we’d soon be, she knowed.

And Dot she called handsome and said: “Ah! I guess
Grandmama’s woman has got a new dress.”
And said that the baby was pretty and smart;
“Dod b’ess it and love its own sweet ’ittle heart.”

And O, the red apples, and pop-corn on strings;
And balls of it, too, and nuts, candy and things;
And O, such a dinner and such pumpkin pie;
I eat and I eat till I thought I would die.

And grandmama urgin’, “Now, Johnnie, my man,
I wants you to eat; just eat all you can.”
When I eat all I could then I eat a lots more,
And I didn’t feel good as I had felt before.

At last it came time for us all to go back,
And into the sleigh again, all of us pack;
With grandmama kissin’ and sayin’ good byes,
With smiles on her lips, but the tears in her eyes.

We seemed much more crowded, and Bimberlie’s sleigh
Kept jerkin’ and hurtin’ me most all the way;
The robes were so stuffy I couldn’t get breath,
And Dot and the baby most squeezed me to death.

All night I kept tumblin’ and tossin’, ma said,
And frowed all the cover half off of the bed;
I dreamed of roast turkey and pop-corn and pie,
And fruit cake and candy, piled up to the sky!

And I dreamed I was sick and just lookin’ at it,
A wantin’ and yet I could not eat a bit;
And grandmama urgin’, “Now, Johnnie, my man,
I want you to eat, just eat all you can.”

Libbie C. Baer

When Christmas Comes

(Harry.)
When Christmas comes my brother Fred
And I are each to have a sled,
So papa says. To all good boys
Old Santa brings both books and toys,
When Christmas comes.

(Paul.)
I know my mother is too poor,
To buy us toys, but I am sure
She’ll have for us some nice warm caps,
Some mittens, and some shoes, perhaps,
When Christmas comes.

(James.)
I wrote old Santa Claus to bring
To me a drum, and everything;
A train of cars to run by steam,
And all of which I think, and dream,
When Christmas comes.

(Willie.)
You greedy boy! You want it all;
I only want a top and ball;
I want what Santa Claus can spare
When other boys have had their share,
When Christmas comes.

(James.)
I only wrote old Santa Claus
To bring me all those things, because
I want to give away some toys,
To Paul, and other widows’ boys,
When Christmas comes.

(John.)
That’s right, my chum,
With fife and drum,
And singing tops we’ll make things hum;
Divide our toys with other boys,
And won’t we make a sight of noise,
When Christmas comes.

(All.)
When Christmas comes to you and me,
Bid every selfish thought to flee;
Unselfish hearts and deeds, and then,
“Peace on earth, good will to men,”
When Christmas comes.

Libbie C. Baer
Facade of the Lady Assumption Cathedral Church with beautiful Christmas tree in Oaxaca, Mexico

Church Bells

Wake me to-night, my mother dear,
That I may hear
The Christmas Bells, so soft and clear,
To high and low glad tidings tell,
How God the Father loved us well;
How God the Eternal Son
Came to undo what we had done.
How God the Paraclete,
Who in the chaste womb formed the Babe so sweet,
In power and glory came, the birth to aid and greet.

Wake me, that I the twelvemonth long
May bear the song
About with me in the world’s throng;
That treasured joys of Christmas tide
May with mine hour of gloom abide;
The Christmas Carol ring
Deep in my heart, when I would sing;
Each of the twelve good days
Its earnest yield of duteous love and praise,
Ensuring happy months, and hallowing common ways.

Wake me again, my mother dear,
That I may hear
The peal of the departing year.
O well I love, the step of Time
Should move to that familiar chime:
Fair fall the tones that steep
The Old Year in the dews of sleep,
The New guide softly in,
With hopes to sweet, sad memories akin!
Long may that soothing cadence ear, heart, conscience win.

John Keble

Xmas Day In Ye Morning

1.
Dame, get up and bake your pies,
Bake your pies, bake your pies;
Dame, get up and bake your pies,
On Christmas-day in the morning.

2.
Dame, what makes your maidens lie,
Maidens lie, maidens lie?
Dame, what makes your maidens lie,
On Christmas-day in the morning?

3.
Dame, what makes your ducks to die,
Ducks to die, ducks to die?
Dame, what makes your ducks to die,
On Christmas-day in the morning?

4.

Their wings are cut, they cannot fly,
Cannot fly, cannot fly;
Their wings are cut, they cannot fly,
On Christmas-day in the morning.

Walter Crane

A Rocking Hymn

Sweet baby, sleep; what ails my dear?
What ails my darling thus to cry?
Be still, my child, and lend thine ear
To hear me sing thy lullaby.
My pretty lamb, forbear to weep;
Be still, my dear; sweet baby, sleep.

Thou blessed soul, what canst thou fear?
What things to thee can mischief do?
Thy God is now thy Father dear;
His holy Spouse thy Mother, too.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

Whilst thus thy lullaby I sing,
For thee great blessings ripening be;
Thine eldest brother is a king,
And hath a kingdom bought for thee.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

Sweet baby, sleep, and nothing fear,
For whosoever thee offends,
By thy protector threatened are,
And God and angels are thy friends.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

When God with us was dwelling here,
In little babes he took delight:
Such innocents as thou, my dear,
Are ever precious in his sight.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

A little infant once was he,
And Strength-in-Weakness then was laid
Upon his Virgin-Mother’s knee,
That power to thee might be conveyed.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

In this thy frailty and thy need
He friends and helpers doth prepare,
Which thee shall cherish, clothe, and feed,
For of thy weal they tender are.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

The King of kings, when he was born,
Had not so much for outward ease;
By him such dressings were not worn,
Nor such-like swaddling-clothes as these.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

Within a manger lodged thy Lord,
Where oxen lay and asses fed;
Warm rooms we do to thee afford,
An easy cradle or a bed.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

The wants that he did then sustain
Have purchased wealth, my babe, for thee,
And by his torments and his pain
Thy rest and ease secured be.
My baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

Thou hast (yet more), to perfect this,
A promise and an earnest got
Of gaining everlasting bliss,
Though thou, my babe, perceiv’st it not.
Sweet baby, then, forbear to weep;
Be still, my babe; sweet baby, sleep.

George Wither
Christmas Nativity in the desert.

Whispering Palms

Holy angels and blest,
Through these Palms as ye sweep,
Hold their branches at rest,
For my Babe is asleep.

And ye, Bethlehem palm-trees,
As stormy winds rush
In tempest and fury
Your angry noise hush;–
Move gently, move gently,
Restrain your wild sweep;
Hold your branches at rest —
My Babe is asleep.

Lope de Vega
Project Gutenberg eText # 20586

When Christmas Comes

When Christmas Comes
For thee, my small one – trinkets and new toys,
The wine of life and all its keenest joys,
When Christmas comes.
For me, the broken playthings of the past
That in my folded hands I still hold fast,
When Christmas comes.

For thee, fair hopes of all that yet may be,
And tender dreams of sweetest mystery,
When Christmas comes.
For thee, the future in a golden haze,
For me, the memory of some bygone days,
When Christmas comes.

For thee, the things that lightly come and go,
For thee, the holly and the mistletoe,
When Christmas comes.
For me, the smiles that are akin to tears,
For me, the frost and snows of many years,
When Christmas comes.

For thee, the twinkling candles bright and gay,
For me, the purple shadows and the grey,
When Christmas comes.
For thee, the friends that greet thee at the door,
For me, the faces I shall see no more,
When Christmas comes.

But ah, for both of us the mystic star
That leadeth back to Bethlehem afar,
When Christmas comes.
For both of us the child they saw of old,
That evermore his mother’s arms enfold,
When Christmas comes.

Virna Sheard

Of Christ’s Birth In An Inn

The Blessed Virgin travailed without pain,
And lodged in an inn,
A glorious star the sign
But of a greater guest than ever came that way,
For there He lay
That is the God of night and day,
And over all the pow’rs of heav’n doth reign.
It was the time of great Augustus’ tax,
And then He comes
That pays all sums,
Even the whole price of lost humanity;
And sets of free
From the ungodly emperie
Of Sin, of Satan, and of Death.
O make our hearts, blest God, Thy lodging-place,
And in our breast
Be pleased to rest,
For Thou lov’st temples better than an inn,
And cause that Sin
May not profane the Deity within,
And sully o’er the ornaments of grace.

Jeremy Taylor
(Henry Vizetelly, Christmas With The Poets)

Twelve Days of Christmas

The first day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

The second day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The third day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The fourth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The fifth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The sixth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The seventh day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The eighth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The ninth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The tenth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The eleventh day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

The twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve lords a-leaping,
Eleven ladies dancing,
Ten pipers piping,
Nine drummers drumming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings.
Four colley birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle-doves and
A partridge in a pear tree.

Unknown

Christmas Poems About Hope

Votive candle for Hope on an advent wreath for the first week.

Under The Holly Bough

Ye who have scorned each other,
Or injured friend or brother,
In this fast-fading year;
Ye who, by word or deed,
Have made a kind heart bleed,
Come gather here!

Let sinned against and sinning
Forget their strife’s beginning,
And join in friendship now.
Be links no longer broken,
Be sweet forgiveness spoken
Under the Holly-Bough.

Ye who have loved each other,
Sister and friend and brother,
In this fast-fading year:
Mother and sire and child,
Young man and maiden mild,
Come gather here;

And let your heart grow fonder,
As memory shall ponder
Each past unbroken vow;
Old loves and younger wooing
Are sweet in the renewing
Under the Holly-Bough.

Ye who have nourished sadness,
Estranged from hope and gladness
In this fast-fading year;
Ye with o’erburdened mind,
Made aliens from your kind,
Come gather here.

Let not the useless sorrow
Pursue you night and morrow,
If e’er you hoped, hope now.
Take heart,— uncloud your faces,
And join in our embraces
Under the Holly-Bough.

Charles MacKay

Christmas

‘Tis Christmas day; the bells ring out
The joyous tidings far and near,
And children hail with gladsome shout
The merry sound of Christmas cheer.

‘Tis Christmas day, the children’s day,
When He was born a little child,
To take Creation’s sin away,
And purify the Truth defiled.

He taught the world to walk by faith,
And, lest their feet should go astray,
He trod Himself the faithful path,
And showed His followers the way.

He taught a Hope to all oppressed
By Sorrow’s weight or Sin’s remorse;
Himself the contrite sinner blessed,
To give His words a greater force.

Oh! ye who tread in Trial’s way,
Nor scarce can murmuring resist,
Remember, on His natal day,
The faithful suffering of Christ.

And ye, whose thoughts in memory trace
A darkened life of wrongful deeds,
Look up and see His kindly face,
Who now for your allegiance pleads.

Oh! Christians, to your name be true,
Cast all your faithlessness away,
And let your hope be born anew
On this, your Saviour’s natal day.

Wilfred S. Skeats

Epiphany

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!

Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining,
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore Him, in slumber reclining,—
Maker, and Monarch, and Saviour of all.

Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!

Reginald Heber
Vintage angel girls with white wings, toys and Christmas tree.

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The church is quaint, and carved, and olden;
The sunlight streams in wavelets golden,
This Christmas morn,
Through stained glass scenes from Bible stories,
On ancient knights whose sculptured glories
The aisle adorn.

The rays are shed in chastened splendour
On many a dead and gone defender
Of Church and Crown;
On Lancelot, the brave Crusader,
And Guy, who slew the French invader,
And saved a town.

The manor lords in line unbroken
Rest here begirt with sign and token
Of ages past;
And dames and maidens, proud and stately,
Lie here with folded hands sedately,
And eyes shut fast.

Among their tombs the sunlight lingers
Then halts between the anthem singers,
And warriors grim.
For there, ’midst many a warlike relic,
Fair children sing the song angelic,
Christ’s birthday hymn.

In rev’rie wrapt, I pause and listen,
I watch the darting sunbeams glisten
On floor and wall;
Then pass from dead to living graces,
And on the children’s happy faces
In splendour fall.

This song of peace—these gentle voices,
These glad young hearts that life rejoices,
My fancy thought,
Are dearer homage to the Master
Then all the Church’s foes’ disaster
These dead knights wrought.

Gone are the days of gloom and error,
Love’s sceptre breaks the rod of terror
In our fair isle.
And as the children sing His message
Of Peace on Earth the joyful presage,
They win God’s smile.

George Robert Sims

A Christmas Carol

The Shepherds had an Angel,
The Wise Men had a star,
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together
And singing angels are?

Those Shepherds through the lonely night
Sat watching by their sheep,
Until they saw the heavenly host
Who neither tire nor sleep,
All singing “Glory, glory,”
In festival they keep.

The Wise Men left their country
To journey morn by morn,
With gold and frankincense and myrrh,
Because the Lord was born:
God sent a star to guide them
And sent a dream to warn.

My life is like their journey,
Their star is like God’s book;
I must be like those good Wise Men
With heavenward heart and look:
But shall I give no gifts to God?—
What precious gifts they took!

Christina Rossetti

Christmas-Day, 1878

I think I might be weary of this day
That comes inevitably every year,
The same when I was young and strong and gay,
The same when I am old and growing sere–
I should grow weary of it every year
But that thou comest to me every day.

I shall grow weary if thou every day
But come to me, Lord of eternal life;
I shall grow weary thus to watch and pray,
For ever out of labour into strife;
Take everlasting house with me, my life,
And I shall be new-born this Christmas-day.

Thou art the Eternal Son, and born no day,
But ever he the Father, thou the Son;
I am his child, but being born alway–
How long, O Lord, how long till it be done?
Be thou from endless years to years the Son–
And I thy brother, new-born every day.

George MacDonald
Mom and daughter decorate Christmas tree happily.

A Christmas Song

When mother-love makes all things bright,
When joy comes with the morning light,
When children gather round their tree,
Thou Christmas Babe,
We sing of Thee!

When manhood’s brows are bent in thought
To learn what men of old have taught,
When eager hands seek wisdom’s key
Wise Temple Child,
We learn of Thee!

When doubts assail, and perils fright,
When, groping blindly in the night,
We strive to read life’s mystery,
Man of the Mount,
We turn to Thee!

When shadows of the valley fall,
When sin and death the soul appall,
One light we through the darkness see—
Christ on the Cross
We cry to Thee!

And when the world shall pass away,
And dawns at length the perfect day,
In glory shall our souls made free,
Thou God enthroned,
Then worship Thee.

Tudor Jenks

The Holy Night

We sate among the stalls at Bethlehem;
The dumb kine from their fodder turning them,
Softened their horn’d faces,
To almost human gazes
Toward the newly Born:
The simple shepherds from the star-lit brooks
Brought visionary looks,
As yet in their astonished hearing rung
The strange sweet angel-tongue:
The magi of the East, in sandals worn,
Knelt reverent, sweeping round,
With long pale beards, their gifts upon the ground,
The incense, myrrh, and gold
These baby hands were impotent to hold:
So let all earthlies and celestials wait
Upon thy royal state.
Sleep, sleep, my kingly One!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Epiphany

From princely walls in eastern pomp array’d,
They seek the distant Bethlehem’s lowly shade;
Faith leads the way, and gathers light, and now
Leans upon Hope, which strengthens as they go.

What gladness crown’d their steps, as now to view
The Heavenly messenger appear’d anew!
And o’er the roof, the star, descending mild,
Show’d, in a Mother’s arms, the holy Child!

But yet, no ivory here, no glowing gold,
No purple royalties the Babe enfold;
His palace-hall—a stable’s solitude,
His regal throne—a manger dark and rude!

Others let kingly pomp and power adorn,
His is a better Kingship; on this morn
He, on His poor straw pallet meanly laid,
Hath hearts of men with viewless sceptre sway’d.

Lo, at His humble cradle, on bent knee,
They, in the Child adore the Deity!
And to that Child, us of that Gentile seed,
And to that humble cradle Faith shall lead.

Love is the gold, meet offering for a King,
Myrrh to the Son of Man shall abstinence bring;
And prayers shall be the ascending frankincense,
Which owns our God in veil’d Omnipotence!

Glory to God the Father, Fount of Light,
To Him, who shone upon the Gentiles’ night,
And unto Him, well spring of Charity,
All equal in mysterious Unity.

From the Parisian Breviary
(Translated by Isaac Williams)
Frosted window with Christmas decoration.

A Christmas Song

Blow, wind, blow,
Sing through yard and shroud;
Pipe it shrilly and loud,
Aloft as well as below;
Sing in my sailor’s ear
The song I sing to you,
“Come home, my sailor true,
For Christmas that comes so near.”

Go, wind, go,
Hurry his home-bound sail,
Through gusts that are edged with hail,
Through winter, and sleet, and snow;
Song, in my sailor’s ear,
Your shrilling and moans shall be,
For he knows they sing him to me
And Christmas that comes so near.

William Cox Bennett

When The Herds Were Watching

When the herds were watching
In the midnight chill,
Came a spotless lambkin
From the heavenly hill.

Snow was on the mountains
And the wind was cold,
When from God’s own garden
Dropped a rose of gold.

When ’twas bitter winter,
Homeless and forlorn
In a star-lit stable
Christ the Babe was born.

Welcome, heavenly lambkin;
Welcome, golden rose;
Alleluia, baby
In the swaddling clothes!

William Canton
(In Memory of W. V. J. M. Dent & Co., 1901)

A Child’s Song Of Christmas

My counterpane is soft as silk,
My blankets white as creamy milk.
The hay was soft to Him, I know,
Our little Lord of long ago.

Above the roofs the pigeons fly
In silver wheels across the sky.
The stable-doves they cooed to them,
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem.

Bright shines the sun across the drifts,
And bright upon my Christmas gifts.
They brought Him incense, myrrh, and gold,
Our little Lord who lived of old.

Oh, soft and clear our mother sings
Of Christmas joys and Christmas things.
God’s holy angels sang to them,
Mary and Christ in Bethlehem.

Our hearts they hold all Christmas dear,
And earth seems sweet and heaven seems near,
Oh, heaven was in His sight, I know,
That little Child of long ago.

Marjorie L. C. Pickthall
Silhouette of the three wise men riding a camel along the star path to meet the newborn Jesus.

A Christmas Hymn

Tell me what is this innumerable throng
Singing in the heavens a loud angelic song?
These are they who come with swift and shining feet
From round about the throne of God the Lord of Light to greet.

Oh, who are these that hasten beneath the starry sky,
As if with joyful tidings that through the world shall fly?
The faithful shepherds these, who greatly were afeared
When, as they watched their flocks by night, the heavenly host appeared.

Who are these that follow across the hills of night
A star that westward hurries along the fields of light?

Three wise men from the east who myrrh and treasure bring
To lay them at the feet of him their Lord and Christ and King.

What babe new-born is this that in a manger cries?
Near on her lowly bed his happy mother lies.
Oh, see the air is shaken with white and heavenly wings–
This is the Lord of all the earth, this is the King of kings.

Richard Watson Gilder

Bethlehem-Town

As I was going to Bethlehem-town,
Upon the earth I cast me down
All underneath a little tree
That whispered in this wise to me:
“Oh, I shall stand on Calvary
And bear what burthen saveth thee!”

As up I fared to Bethlehem-town,
I met a shepherd coming down,
And thus he quoth: “A wondrous sight
Hath spread before mine eyes this night,–
An angel host most fair to see,
That sung full sweetly of a tree
That shall uplift on Calvary
What burthen saveth you and me!”

And as I gat to Bethlehem-town,
Lo! wise men came that bore a crown.
“Is there,” cried I, “in Bethlehem
A King shall wear this diadem?”
“Good sooth,” they quoth, “and it is He
That shall be lifted on the tree
And freely shed on Calvary
What blood redeemeth us and thee!”

Unto a Child in Bethlehem-town
The wise men came and brought the crown;
And while the infant smiling slept,
Upon their knees they fell and wept;
But, with her babe upon her knee,
Naught recked that Mother of the tree,
That should uplift on Calvary
What burthen saveth all and me.

Again I walk in Bethlehem-town
And think on Him that wears the crown.
I may not kiss His feet again,
Nor worship Him as did I then;
My King hath died upon the tree,
And hath outpoured on Calvary
What blood redeemeth you and me!

Eugene Field

For the Nativitie of Our Lord

O than, the fairest day, thrice fairer night,
Night to best days, in which a sun doth rise,
Of which the golden eye, which clears the skies,
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow light;
And blessed ye, in silly pastor’s sight,
Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy-maid-born wight,
Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies:
Blest cottage, that hath flowers in winter spread;
Though wither’d, blessed grass, that hath the grace
To deck and be a carpet to the place.
Thus singing to the sound of oaten reed,
Before the Babe the shepherds bow’d their knees,
And springs ran nectar, honey dropped from trees.

William Drummond of Hawthornden
Christmas candle with statuette of baby Jesus.

An Ode of the Birth of our Saviour

In numbers, and but these few,
I sing thy birth, oh JESU!
Thou pretty Baby, born here,
With sup’rabundant scorn here;
Who for thy princely port here,
Hadst for thy place
Of birth, a base
Out-stable for thy court here.

Instead of neat enclosures
Of interwoven osiers;
Instead of fragrant posies
Of daffadils and roses,
Thy cradle, kingly stranger,
As gospel tells,
Was nothing else,
But, here, a homely manger.

But we with silks, not cruels,1
With sundry precious jewels,
And lily-work will dress thee;
And as we dispossess thee
Of cloths, we’ll make a chamber,
Sweet babe, for thee,
Of ivory,
And plaster’d round with amber.

The Jews, they did disdain thee;
But we will entertain thee
With glories to await here,
Upon thy princely state here,
And more for love than pity:
From year to year
We’ll make thee, here,
A free-born of our city.

Robert Herrick

The Angels, for the Nativitie of Our Lord

Run, shepherds, run where Bethlem blest appears;
We bring the best of news, be not dismay’d,
A Saviour there is born, more old than years,
Amidst the rolling heaven this earth who stay’d:
In a poor cottage inn’d, a virgin maid,
A weakling did him bear who all upbears;
There he in clothes is wrapped, in manger laid,
To whom too narrow swaddlings are our spheres.
Run, shepherds, run, and solemnise his birth;
This is that night, no day, grown great with bliss,
In which the power of Satan broken is;
In heaven be glory; peace unto the earth.
Thus singing through the air the angels swam,
And all the stars re-echoed the same.

William Drummond of Hawthornden

Bethlehem

Bethlehem! of noblest cities
None can once with thee compare;
Thou alone the Lord from heaven
Didst for us Incarnate bear.

Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the star that told His birth;
To the lands their God announcing
Hid beneath a form of earth.

By its lambent beauty guided,
See the Eastern kings appear;
See them bend, their gifts to offer,—
Gifts of incense, gold and myrrh.

Solemn things of mystic meaning!
Incense doth the God disclose;
Gold a royal child proclaimeth,
Myrrh a future tomb foreshows.

Holy Jesu! in Thy brightness
To the Gentile world display’d!
With the Father, and the Spirit,
Praise eterne to Thee be paid.

From the Roman Breviary
(Translated by Edward Caswall)

Epiphany Hymn

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold,
As with joy they hail’d its light,
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So, most gracious LORD, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped,
Saviour, to Thy lowly bed,
There to bend the knee before
Thee Whom Heav’n and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy-seat.

As they offer’d gifts most rare
At Thy cradle rude and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
CHRIST, to Thee our heavenly King.

Holy JESUS, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransom’d souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

In the Heav’nly country bright
Need they no created light;
Thou its Light, its Joy, its Crown,
Thou its Sun which goes not down;
There for ever may we sing
Alleluias to our King.

William Chatterton Dix

Religious Christmas Poems

Three burning candles with Christmas pine cones around.

A Christmas Carol

God bless you all this Christmas Day
And drive the cares and griefs away.
Oh, may the shining Bethlehem star
Which led the wise men from afar
Upon your heads, good sirs, still glow
To light the path that ye should go.

As God once blessed the stable grim
And made it radiant for Him;
As it was fit to shield His Son,
May thy roof be a holy one;
May all who come this house to share
Rest sweetly in His gracious care.

Within thy walls may peace abide,
The peace for which the Savior died.
Though humble be the rafters here,
Above them may the stars shine clear,
And in this home thou lovest well
May excellence of spirit dwell.

God bless you all this Christmas Day;
May Bethlehem’s star still light thy way
And guide thee to the perfect peace
When every fear and doubt shall cease.
And may thy home such glory know
As did the stable long ago.

Edgar Albert Guest

A Hymn for Christmas Day

The Shepherds watch their flocks by night,
Beneath the moon’s unclouded light,
All around is calm and still,
Save the murm’ring of the rill:
When lo! a form of light appears,
And on the awe-struck Shepherds’ ears
Are words, of peace and comfort flowing
From lips with love celestial glowing.
Spiritual forms are breaking
Through the gloom, their voices taking
Part in the adoring song
Of the bright angelic throng.
Wondering the Shepherds bend
Their steps to Bethlehem, and wend
To a poor and crowded inn:–
Tremblingly their way they win
To the stable, where they find
The Redeemer of mankind,
Just born into this world of danger,
Lying in an humble manger.
And they spread abroad each word
Which that joyful night they’d heard,
And they glorified the name
Of their gracious God, Who came
Himself to save from endless woe
The offspring of this world below.

Christina Rossetti

A Hymn on the Nativity of My Saviour

I sing the birth was born to-night,
The author both of life and light;
The angels so did sound it.
And like the ravish’d shepherds said,
Who saw the light, and were afraid,
Yet search’d, and true they found it.

The Son of God, the Eternal King,
That did us all salvation bring,
And freed the soul from danger;
He whom the whole world could not take,
The Word, which heaven and earth did make,
Was now laid in a manger.

The Father’s wisdom will’d it so,
The Son’s obedience knew no No,
Both wills were in one stature;
And as that wisdom had decreed,
The Word was now made Flesh indeed,
And took on Him our nature.

What comfort by Him do we win,
Who made Himself the price of sin,
To make us heirs of glory!
To see this Babe, all innocence
A martyr born in our defence;
Can man forget this story?

Ben Jonson
Three wise men relief on a wall.

Epiphany

“Lord Babe, if Thou art He
We sought for patiently,
Where is Thy court?
Hither may prophecy and star resort;
Men heed not their report.”–
“Bow down and worship, righteous man:
This Infant of a span
Is He man sought for since the world began!”–
“Then, Lord, accept my gold, too base a thing
For Thee, of all kings King.”–

“Lord Babe, despite Thy youth
I hold Thee of a truth
Both Good and Great:
But wherefore dost Thou keep so mean a state,
Low-lying desolate?”–
“Bow down and worship, righteous seer:
The Lord our God is here
Approachable, Who bids us all draw near.”–
“Wherefore to Thee I offer frankincense,
Thou Sole Omnipotence.”–

“But I have only brought
Myrrh; no wise afterthought
Instructed me
To gather pearls or gems, or choice to see
Coral or ivory.”–
“Not least thine offering proves thee wise:
For myrrh means sacrifice,
And He that lives, this Same is He that dies.”–
“Then here is myrrh: alas! yea, woe is me
That myrrh befitteth Thee.”–

Myrrh, frankincense, and gold:
And lo! from wintry fold
Good-will doth bring
A Lamb, the innocent likeness of this King
Whom stars and seraphs sing:
And lo! the bird of love, a Dove
Flutters and coos above:
And Dove and Lamb and Babe agree in love:–
Come all mankind, come all creation hither,
Come, worship Christ together.

Christina Rossetti

For Christmas Day

From Virgin’s womb this day did spring
The precious Seede that onely saued man:
This day let man reioyce and sweetly sing,
Since on this day saluation first began.
This day did Christe man’s soule from death remooue,
With glorious saintes to dwell in heaven aboue.

This day to man came pledge of perfect peace;
This day to man came loue and unitie;
This day man’s greefe began for to surcease;
This day did man receaue a remedie
For each offence, and euery deadly sinne,
With giltie hart that erst he wandred in.

In Christe’s flock let loue be surely plaste;
From Christe’s flock let concord hate expell;
Of Christe’s flock let loue be so embraste,
As we in Christe, and Christe in vs may dwell.
Christe is the author of all unitie,
From whence proceedeth all felicitie.

O sing vnto this glittering glorious King;
O praise his name let euery liuing thing:
Let heart and voice, like belles of siluer, ring
The comfort that this day did bring.
Let lute, let shalme, with sound of sweet delight,
The ioy of Christe’s birth this day resight.

Francis Kinwelmersh

Neighbors of the Christ Night

Deep in the shelter of the cave,
The ass with drooping head
Stood weary in the shadow, where
His master’s hand had led.
About the manger oxen lay,
Bending a wide-eyed gaze
Upon the little new-born Babe,
Half worship, half amaze.
High in the roof the doves were set,
And cooed there, soft and mild,
Yet not so sweet as, in the hay,
The Mother to her Child.
The gentle cows breathed fragrant breath
To keep Babe Jesus warm,
While loud and clear, o’er hill and dale,
The cocks crowed, “Christ is born!”
Out in the fields, beneath the stars,
The young lambs sleeping lay,
And dreamed that in the manger slept
Another white as they.

These were Thy neighbors, Christmas Child;
To Thee their love was given,
For in Thy baby face there shone
The wonder-light of Heaven.

Nora Archibald Smith
(Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)
Instrumental sheet music and soft lights for Christmas holiday.

Christmas Hymn

Hark! how all the welkin rings
Glory to the King of kings!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
Universal nature say,
Christ the Lord is born to-day!

Christ by highest Heaven adored,
Christ, the Everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin’s womb:
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’ Incarnate Deity,
Pleased as man with men to appear,
Jesus our Immanuel here!

Hail! the heavenly Prince of Peace!
Hail! the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home!
Rise, the Woman’s conquering Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent’s head!
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore,
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine!

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
Stamp Thy image in its place;
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love!
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the Heavenly Man:
O! to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart!

Charles Wesley

A Christmas Carol

In The bleak mid-winter
Frosty winds made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When he comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty
Jesus Christ.

Christina Rossetti

Good News From Heaven The Angels Sing

Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.

This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford:
He will Himself our Saviour be,
From sin and sorrow set us free.

To us that blessedness He brings,
Which from the Father’s bounty springs:
That in the heavenly realm we may
With Him enjoy eternal day.

All hail, Thou noble Guest, this morn,
Whose love did not the sinner scorn!
In my distress Thou cam’st to me:
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

Ah, dearest Jesus, Holy Child!
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

Praise God upon His heavenly throne,
Who gave to us His only Son:
For this His hosts, on joyful wing,
A blest New Year of mercy sing.

Robert Haven Schauffler
Christmas tree with family caroling.

A Carol

This gospel sang the angels bright:
Lord Jhesu shall be born this night;
Born not in house nor yet in hall,
Wrapped not in purple nor in pall,
Rocked not in silver, neither gold;
This word the angels sang of old;
Nor christened with white wine nor red;
This word of old the angels said
Of Him which holdeth in His hand
The strong sea and green land.

This thrice and four times happy night—
These tidings sang the angels bright—
Forlorn, betwixen ear and horn,
A babe shall Jhesu Lord be born,
A weeping babe in all the cold;—
This word the angels sang of old—
And wisps of hay shall be his bed;
This word of old the angels said
Of Him which keepeth in His hand
The strong sea and green land.

O babe and Lord, Thou Jhesu bright,—
Let all and some now sing this night—
Betwixt our sorrow and our sin,
Be thou new-born our hearts within;
New-born, dear babe and little King,
So letten some and all men sing—
To wipe for us our tears away!
This night so letten all men say
Of Him which spake, and lo! they be—
The green land and strong sea.

William Canton

A Christmas Carol

The trees are hung with crystal lamps, the world lies still and white,
And the myriad little twinkling stars are sharp with keener light;
The moon sails up the frost-clear sky and silvers all the snow,
As she did, perchance, that Christmas night, two thousand years ago!
Good people, are you waking?
Give us food and give us wine,
For the sake of blessed Mary
And her Infant Son Divine,
Who was born the world’s Redeemer—
A Saviour—yours and mine!

Long ago angelic harpers sang the song we sing to-day,
And the drowsy folk of Bethlehem may have listened as they lay!
But eager shepherds left their flocks, and o’er the desert wild
The kingly sages journeyed to adore the Holy Child!
Has any man a quarrel?
Has another used you ill?
The friendly word you meant to say,
Is that unspoken still?—
Then, remember, ’twas the Angels
Brought glad tidings of good will!

Of all the gifts of Christmas, are you fain to win the best?
Lo! the Christ-child still is waiting Himself to be your guest;
No lot so high or lowly but He will take His part,
If you do but bid Him welcome to a clean and tender heart.
Are you sleeping, are you waking?
To the Manger haste away,
And you shall see a wond’rous sight
Amid the straw and hay.—
‘Tis Love Himself Incarnate
As on this Christmas Day!

Christian Burke

A Christmas Carol

They leave the land of gems and gold,
The shining portals of the East;
For Him, the woman’s Seed foretold,
They leave the revel and the feast.

To earth their sceptres they have cast,
And crowns by kings ancestral worn;
They track the lonely Syrian waste;
They kneel before the Babe new born.

O happy eyes that saw Him first;
O happy lips that kissed His feet:
Earth slakes at last her ancient thirst;
With Eden’s joy her pulses beat.

True kings are those who thus forsake
Their kingdoms for the Eternal King;
Serpent, her foot is on thy neck;
Herod, thou writhest, but canst not sting.
He, He is King, and He alone
Who lifts that infant hand to bless;
Who makes His mother’s knee His throne,
Yet rules the starry wilderness.

Aubrey De Vere
Family exchanging christmas gifts at home.

A Merry Christmas

A Merry Christmas to you!
For we the serve the Lord with mirth,
And we carol forth glad tidings
Of our holy Saviour’s birth.
So we keep the olden greeting
With its meaning deep and true,
And wish a Merrie Christmas
And a Happy New Year to you!

Oh, yes! a Merrie Christmas
With blithest song and smile,
Bright with the thought of him who dwelt
On earth a little while,
That we might dwell forever
Where never falls a tear;
So a Merrie Christmas to you,
And a happy, happy year.

Frances Ridley Havergal

A Christmas Carol (On The Stroke of Midnight)

Thank God, thank God, we do believe,
Thank God that this is Christmas Eve.
Even as we kneel upon this day,
Even so the ancient legends say
Nearly two thousand years ago
The stalled ox knelt, and even so
The ass knelt full of praise which they
Could not express, while we can pray.
Thank God, thank God, for Christ was born
Ages ago, as on this morn:
In the snow-season undefiled
God came to earth a little Child;
He put His ancient glory by
To live for us, and then to die.

How shall we thank God? how shall we
Thank Him and praise Him worthily?
What will He have Who loved us thus,
What presents will He take from us?
Will He take gold, or precious heap
Of gems, or shall we rather steep
The air with incense, or bring myrrh?
What man will be our messenger
To go to Him and ask His Will?
Which having learned we will fulfil
Tho’ He choose all we most prefer:–
What man will be our messenger?

Thank God, thank God, the Man is found,
Sure-footed, knowing well the ground:
He knows the road, for this the way
He travelled once, as on this day.
He is our Messenger; beside,
He is our Door, and Path, and Guide;
He also is our Offering,
He is the Gift that we must bring.
Let us kneel down with one accord
And render thanks unto the Lord:
For unto us a Child is born
Upon this happy Christmas morn;
For unto us a Son is given,
Firstborn of God and Heir of Heaven.

Christina Rossetti

Christmas Day

Though rude winds usher thee, sweet day,
Though clouds thy face deform,
Though nature’s grace is swept away
Before the sleety storm;
Ev’n in thy sombrest wintry vest,
Of blessed days thou art most blest.

Nor frigid air nor gloomy morn
Shall check our jubilee;
Bright is the day when Christ was born,
No sun need shine but He;
Let roughest storms their coldest blow,
With love of Him our hearts shall glow.

Inspired with high and holy thought,
Fancy is on the wing;
It seems as to mine ear it brought
Those voices carolling,
Voices through heaven and earth that ran,
Glory to God, goodwill to man.

I see the shepherds gazing wild
At those fair spirits of light;
I see them bending o’er the Child
With that untold delight
Which marks the face of those who view
Things but too happy to be true.

There, in the lowly manger laid,
Incarnate God they see;
He stoops to take, through spotless maid,
Our frail humanity:
Son of high God, creation’s Heir,
He leaves His Heaven to raise us there.

Through Him, Lord, we are born anew,
Thy children once again;
Oh! day by day our hearts renew,
That Thine we may remain,
And, angel-like, may all agree,
One sweet and holy family.

Oft, as this joyous morn doth come
To speak our Saviour’s love,
Oh, may it bear our spirits home
Where He now reigns above;
That day which brought Him from the skies,
So man restores to Paradise!

Then let winds usher thee, sweet day,
Let clouds thy face deform;
Though nature’s grace is swept away
Before thy sleety storm;
Ev’n in thy sombrest wintry vest,
Of blessed days thou art most blest.

Samuel Rickards
Angel-shaped christmas lights.

Christmastide

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Christina Rossetti

Now Let The Angel Song Break Forth!

Now let the angel song break forth!
For night shall never more be night;
A quenchless star climbs o’er the earth,
A torch lit up from God’s own light.

There where the watching shepherds pressed,
Where Eastern seers bowed them low, —
From pole to pole, from east to west,
See the world’s tidal pulses flow!

I saw the warrior on the plain
Pause i that light to sheathe his sword;
I saw the slave look up in pain, —
Chains melted in the fires it poured.

Thou, God, who givest our night this star,
Whose circling arm excludeth none.
Gather our treasures from afar,
To the soul’s monarch inly born.

Kindle thy blessed sign again,
For the New World a Christ’s new birth,
When to our cry, Good-will to men,
The heavens shall answer, Peace on earth!

Rev. M. D. Conway
(Moncure Daniel Conway, Autobiography
Houghton, Mifflin and company, 1904)

Christmas Morning

I.

Come all you weary wanderers,
Beneath the wintry sky;
This day forget your worldly cares,
And lay your sorrows by;
Awake, and sing
The church bells ring;
For this is Christmas morning!

II.

With grateful hearts salute the morn,
And swell the streams of song,
That laden with great joy are borne,
The willing air along;
The tidings thrill
With right good will;
For this is Christmas morning!

III.

We’ll twine the fresh green holly wreath,
And make the yule-log low;
And gather gaily underneath
The winking mistletoe;
All blithe and bright
By the glad fire-light;
For this is Christmas morning!

IV.

Come, sing the carols old and true,
That mind us of good cheer,
And, like a heavenly fall of dew,
Revive the drooping year;
And fill us up
A wassail-cup ;
For this is Christmas morning!

V.

To all poor souls we I strew the feast,
With kindly heart, and free;
One Father owns us, and, at least,
To-day we’ll brothers be;
Away with pride,
This holy tide ;
For it is Christmas morning!

VI.

So now, God bless us one and all
With hearts and hearthstones warm
And may He prosper great and small,
And keep us out of harm;
And teach us still,
His sweet good-will,
This merry Christmas morning!

Edwin Waugh
Shepherd and star of Bethlehem.

Christmas Carol

The kings they came from out the south,
All dressed in ermine fine;
They bore Him gold and chrysoprase,
And gifts of precious wine.

The shepherds came from out the north,
Their coats were brown and old;
They brought Him little new-born lambs
They had not any gold.

The wise men came from out the east,
And they were wrapped in white;
The star that led them all the way
Did glorify the night.

The angels came from heaven high,
And they were clad with wings;
And lo, they brought a joyful song
The host of heaven sings.

The kings they knocked upon the door,
The wise men entered in,
The shepherds followed after them
To hear the song begin.

The angels sang through all the night
Until the rising sun,
But little Jesus fell asleep
Before the song was done.

Sara Teasdale

Christmas Carol

When Christ was born in Bethlehem,
‘T was night, but seemed the noon of day;
The stars, whose light
Was pure and bright,
Shone with unwavering ray;
But one, one glorious star
Guided the Eastern Magi from afar.

Then peace was spread throughout the land;
The lion fed beside the tender lamb;
And with the kid,
To pasture led,
The spotted leopard fed;
In peace, the calf and bear,
The wolf and lamb reposed together there.

As shepherds watched their flocks by night,
An angel, brighter than the sun’s own light,
Appeared in air,
And gently said,
Fear not,–be not afraid,
For lo! beneath your eyes,
Earth has become a smiling paradise.

From The Neopolitan, Translator Unknown
(Project Gutenberg Etext 11014)

Inspirational Short Christmas Poems

Golden Christmas and a girl angel lighting a candle.

A Christmas Blessing

May the right hand of God ever hold you in keeping
Through coming and going, through waking and sleeping,
May the love of the Christ-Child your spirit be lighting
And the smile of His Mother your heart be delighting;
May Blessed St. Joseph be near you in sorrow,
And the high Saints of Erin be guarding your morrow,
May Peace be your treasure, and long be your living,
With joy in good measure for taking and giving.
In friendship go leor beyond bound or expressing
To your door I am sending this Christmas blessing.

Teresa Coca Boylan Brayton

Christmas

This happy day, whose risen sun
Shall set not through eternity,
This holy day when Christ the Lord,
Took on him our humanity,

For little children everywhere
A joyous season still we make,
We bring our precious gifts to them,
Even for the dear child Jesus’ sake.

Phoebe Cary

On Shepherds’ Pipes

O than the fairest day, thrice fairer night!
Night to blest days in which a sun doth rise
Of which that golden age which clears the skies
Is but a sparkling ray, a shadow-light!
And blessed ye, in silly pastors’ sight,
Mild creatures, in whose warm crib now lies
That heaven-sent youngling, holy-maid-born wight:
Midst, end, beginning of our prophecies!
Blest cottage that hath flowers in winter spread,
Though withered–blessed grass that hath the grace
To deck and be a carpet to that place!
Thus sang, unto the sounds, of oaten reed,
Before the Babe, the shepherds bowed on knees;
And springs ran nectar, honey dropped from trees.

William Drummond of Hawthornden
Lighted candles inside the church.

Christmas Prayer

Cold my heart, and poor, and low,
Like thy stable in the rock;
Do not let it orphan go,
It is of thy parent stock!
Come thou in, and it will grow
High and wide, a fane divine;
Like the ruby it will glow,
Like the diamond shine!

George MacDonald

The Ceremonies for Christmas Day

Kindle the Christmas brand, and then
Till sunset let it burn;
Which quench’d, then lay it up again
Till Christmas next return.

Part must be kept wherewith to teend
The Christmas log next year,
And where ’tis safely kept, the fiend
Can do no mischief there.

Robert Herrick

Christmas Song

Why do bells for Christmas ring?
Why do little children sing?

Once a lovely, shining star,
Seen by shepherds from afar,
Gently moved until its light
Made a manger-cradle bright.

There a darling baby lay
Pillowed soft upon the hay.
And his mother sang and smiled,
“This is Christ, the holy child.”

So the bells for Christmas ring,
So the little children sing.

Lydia A. C. Ward
(The Project Gutenberg eBook #18908)
Girl enjoying the holidays.

Another Christmas

Another Christmas eve is here,
Eve that heralds the brightest day of earth;
‘Tis a day of joy, and of happy good cheer,
And our hearts shall fill with purest of mirth;
We remember with joy and gladness to-night,
How yet for us all the star shineth bright.

Centuries have flown since that eventful eve,
When the angels sang o’er Bethlehem’s plain;
The world in its sorrow, love would not leave,
Nor the race of man to since dark domain;
The refrain of that song has not yet died away.
Buyt now leads the world up Heaven’s bright way.

May the star still shine, and the song be sung,
The star and the song shall lighten our way;
In this blessed light, shall our battles be won,
And from the right path, our feet shall not stray;
When another Christmas shall come to us no more,
We’ll join in Heaven’s Christmas song upon the other shore.

Rev. W. M. Bell

Christmas Eve

Alone — with one fair star for company,
The lovliest star among the hosts of night,
While the grey tide ebbs with the ebbing light —
I peace along the darkening wintry sea.
Now round the yule log and the glittering tree
Twinkling with festive tapers, eyes as bright
Sparkle with Christmas joys and young delight,
As each one gathers to his family.

But I — a waif on earth where’er I roam —
Uprooted with life’s bleeding hopes and fears
From that one heart that was my heart’s sole home,
Feel the old pang pierce through the severing years,
And as I think upon the years to come
That fair star trembles through my falling tears.

Mathilde Blind
(Christmas Carols – Old & New.)

December

I
Oh! holly branch and mistletoe.
And Christmas chimes where’er we go.
And stockings pinned up in a row!
These are thy gifts, December!
II
And if the year has made thee old,
And silvered all thy locks of gold,
Thy heart has never been a-cold
Or known a fading ember.
III
The whole world is a Christmas tree,
And stars its many candles be.
Oh! sing a carol joyfully
The year’s great feast in keeping!
IV
For once, on a December night
An angel held a candle bright.
And led three wise men by its light
To where a child was sleeping.

Harriet F. Blodgett
Mary and Joseph journeying across the desert.

The Savior Must Have Been a Docile Gentleman

The Savior must have been
A docile Gentleman—
To come so far so cold a Day
For little Fellowmen—

The Road to Bethlehem
Since He and I were Boys
Was leveled, but for that ‘twould be
A rugged Billion Miles—

Emily Dickinson

Nativity

Immensity, cloistered in thy dear womb,
Now leaves his well-beloved imprisonment,
There he hath made himself to his intent
Weak enough, now into our world to come;
But Oh, for thee, for him, hath th’ inn no room?
Yet lay him in this stall, and from the Orient,
Stars, and wise men will travel to prevent
Th’ effect of Herod’s jealous general doom;
See’st thou, my Soul, with thy faith’s eyes, how he
Which fills all place, yet none holds him, doth lie?
Was not his pity towards thee wondrous high,
That would have need to be pitied by thee?
Kiss him, and with him into Egypt go,
With his kind mother, who partakes thy woe.

John Donne

Christmas Carol

So crowded was the little town
On the first Christmas day,
Tired Mary Mother laid her down
To rest upon the hay.
(Ah, would my door might have been thrown
Wide open on her way!)

But when the Holy Babe was born
In the deep hush of night,
It seemed as if a Sabbath morn
Had come with sacred light.
Child Jesus made the place forlorn
With his own beauty bright.

The manger rough was all his rest;
The cattle, having fed,
Stood silent by, or closer pressed,
And gravely wonderèd.
(Ah, Lord, if only that my breast
Had cradled Thee instead!)

James S. Park
(The Project Gutenberg, eBook #18908)
Lighted small candles and flowers.

Christmas Meditation

He who by a mother’s love
Made the wandering world his own,
Every year comes from above,
Comes the parted to atone,
Binding Earth to the Father’s throne.

Nay, thou comest every day!
No, thou never didst depart!
Never hour hast been away!
Always with us, Lord, thou art,
Binding, binding heart to heart!

George MacDonald

God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye, merry gentlemen; let nothing you dismay,
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.
The dawn rose red o’er Bethlehem, the stars shone through the gray,
When Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.

God rest ye, little children; let nothing you affright,
For Jesus Christ, your Saviour, was born this happy night;
Along the hills of Galilee the white flocks sleeping lay,
When Christ, the child of Nazareth, was born on Christmas-day.

God rest ye, all good Christians; upon this blessed morn
The Lord of all good Christians was of a woman born:
Now all your sorrows He doth heal, your sins He takes away;
For Jesus Christ, our Saviour, was born on Christmas-day.

Dinah Maria Mulock

Mary’s Lullaby

Hush-a-bye, Baby, hush-a-bye Baby, hush-a-bye Baby bye!
Shimmer of day is fading away out of Your Father’s sky,
But now You are all my own, little Son, safe on your Mother’s breast
From the call of the world, my little One, and the cry of its wild unrest.
Hush-a-bye, Baby, hush-a-bye Baby, hush on your Mother’s breast.

Hush-a-bye, Baby, hush-a-bye Baby, Simeon’s word in my soul
Is cold as the hilt of a Roman sword and deep as the Jordan’s roll,
But while I hold You upon my breast where shadows are drifting low
I veil my eyes from the world’s unrest and the woe that You yet must know.
Hush-a-bye, Baby, hush-a-bye Baby, hush-a-bye, Baby O!

Teresa Coca Boylan Brayton